New Zealand 101: Reflections on the Country and Kiwi Culture

Aubrey Maryniak ’19 is a biochemistry major at Elizabethtown College. Aubrey’s hobbies include taking photos, hiking, painting, cooking, and yoga.  After living in Dunedin, New ZealandAubrey reflected on her experiences and the Kiwi culture.

Although New Zealand is an English speaking country, Aubrey still had to adjust in many ways. She had trouble understanding some of the thicker accents and had to adjust the way she pronounces her name. Ahh-bree becomes ouh-bree down under.

Aubrey believes the individuals she met were very authentic, making it easy to embrace her identity. While abroad, Aubrey lived in a “flat” with five other students, two of which were Kiwi hosts. These students were just as excited to show their housemates the country as they are to explore it for the first time.

New Zealand has a culture blended between Maori (the indigenous people) and non-Maori cultures. The people are very globally aware and some may argue they have a better understanding of American politics than Americans.

The food in New Zealand was also unique. Aubrey had the opportunity to try chocolate, coffees, and lolly cakes. Her favorite food experience was a donut, which she injected with filling via a syringe. Some of the food also has unique names. Although many of the vegetables in New Zealand are the same as in the US, a red pepper was called a capsicum.

New Zealand is also the home to incredible landscapes. Aubrey hiked up hills to watch the sunset and spent hours watching waves roll by on the country’s beaches.

Overall, the country made Aubrey feel welcome and at home, a place she wants to return to in the future.

*Click on the hyperlinks above to learn more about the Dunedin, New Zealand program and to read Aubrey’s original blog published by BCA Study Abroad on September 11, 2017.

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